In a special May 24 ceremony at Edgewater Park, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress presented Cleveland Public Library with the 2017 Vibrant City Impact Award, an honor that celebrates the Library’s positive influence within the community.
“The Vibrant City Impact Award was introduced to recognize community partners that provide dramatic impact on the lives of Clevelanders,” said Joel Ratner, President and CEO of Neighborhood Progress. “Cleveland Public Library goes well beyond providing books and materials to its guests. It is a Cleveland neighborhood institution that is dedicated to improving the lives of residents.”
Neighborhood Progress applauded the Library for playing an integral role in the educational life of Cleveland’s residents throughout its longstanding history. In particular, the Library was recognized for its extensive collections used by researchers and scholars around the world; its focus on serving a diverse and inclusive community; and its emphasis on job skills, digital learning, economic development and early literacy.
“We’re honored to receive the Vibrant City Impact Award from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress,” said Director Felton Thomas. “The only way a library can earn these awards is when it has tremendous support from its community, the dedication of a talented staff, and the strategic oversight provided by a committed Board of Trustees. Cleveland Public Library is fortunate to have all three.”
Evelyn Burnett, Vice President of Economic Opportunity at Neighborhood Progress, highlighted the partnership between the two organizations, particularly that involving the Community Financial Centers (CFC), where financial coaching services are provided as part of the CPL FIT initiative. “The continued commitment and support of CPL leadership to enable employees to take advantage of service on work time, to integrate our service into a wellness program, to ensure access of our service to all 27 branches, and to extend service to the public in alignment with its People University’s initiative has been fundamental in CFC’s success,” she said.
Neighborhood Progress is a local community development funding intermediary with nearly thirty years of experience investing in community revitalization work in the city of Cleveland. This year marked the organization’s third annual Vibrant City Awards. The Vibrant City Impact Award was introduced in 2016 to honor institutions that are dedicated to improving the lives of Cleveland residents. Last year, the Cleveland Metroparks won the inaugural Vibrant City Impact Award.